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Difpenfation of the GOSPEL,
Dispensation of the SON in SPIRIT,
WHICH IS THE
MYSTERY OF GOD, the MYSTERY of the Work of Redemption, is finished in the Heart, all created anew inwardly, all fubdued that is contrary to GoD, the Soul brought into, or tranflated into, the Everlasting Kingdom, and the Kingdom at length delivered up to the FATHER, and GOD becomes All in All; where all Names ceafe, and the Pure Eternal Being is known, united to, and lived in, after an unutterable Manner.
DISPENSATION of the GOSPEL, &c.
O know the Father (even the God and Father of our Lord Jefus Chrift) as the fountain or original fpring of light, life, love, wifdom, power, holiness, righteousnefs, and all spiritual and heavenly
To know the Son as the way to the Father, as the way to life, peace, and bleffednefs in the Father:
To know the Son's Spirit, and the Father's alfo, whereby the Father draws to the Son, and the Son brings to the Father; whereby the Son quickens, begets, renews, fanctifies, deftroys, cuts down, burns up that which is droffy, corrupt, and chaffy; yea, not only the fruits of fin, but the very root itself, yea the very earth in which the root grows, and the heavens that water the earth are confumed and pafs away inwardly, and a new heaven and a new earth is inwardly planted and formed, wherein dwells righteousness; fo that the cage of unclean birds, the place where the dragons lay, is fhaken and removed, and the place of the wicked inwardly known no more; but instead thereof there are new heavens and earth, even of the new creation of God; which earth brings forth the increase of life, the fruits of life, the feeds and trees of righteoufnefs, of God's fowing, planting, grafting, pruning, and caufing to grow, that he may be glorified: I fay,
Thus to know the Father, thus to know the Son, thus to know the Holy Spirit of light, life, love, and righteousness, &c. not notionally in the brain, or with a comprehenfive knowledge of the mind, but livingly in the heart, in the light that fhines from the Father and Son, in the life that fprings from them, in the love which is of them (for, indeed, it is love that gives the bright, purely fenfible and uniting knowledge): this, is precious knowledge; and all knowledge of the very fame things, any otherwife than as coming from, and held in, this fpringing life, is of no com. parison with the excellency (for nature and virtue) of this kind of knowledge.
Now there have been two great difpenfations of the Father, Son, and Spirit. The one figurative, the other fubftantial. The one called the law,
the other the gofpel. For under the law the Father was made known, the Son made known, the Spirit made known; but all in figures and outward ways of manifeftation. God was to that people of the Jews a fountain of living waters; and when they forfook him, and trufted in lying vanities, they forfook the fountain of their own mercies. They then forfook the fountain of living waters, digging to themfelves broken cifterns that could hold no water.
So the Son was made known under the types and figures of the law, as the King of righteoufnefs, as the high-prieft of God, as the prophet that God would raise up, as the fpiritual rock which yielded the fpiritual waters, of which the foul was to drink. And they that were a-thirst were to come to him and buy wine and milk of him, and incline their ear to him, that they might hear and live, and he would make an everlasting covenant with them, even the fure mercies of David.
So the Spirit of God, which was typified under a pillar of cloud and fire in the wilderness, did ftrive with man before the law, and was given to the Jews to inftruct them, and to plough up their fallow ground, and circumcife them inwardly, and to wash their hearts from wickedness and vain thoughts, that they might not lodge in them.
But all this was not properly (in the Spirit and power of it) the difpenfation of the law; but hid in a mystery, and running under-ground, as I may fo fay. This was from another covenant, and part of another covenant than the covenant of the law, though in the time of the law. For there was another covenant which Mofes declared of, befides the covenant of the law made in Horeb, which was the word of life, or word of faith in the mouth and heart, which teacheth the fubftance of the law, and alfo gives power to fulfill the righteoufnefs of the law, to them that hear and receive its voice, in the faith which it gives or begets. And fo the Father of fpirits was known in the time of the law. Chrift the redeemer was known to live, yea to live in the heart in the time of the law. The free Spirit, the Spirit of love was received, and the prefence of God felt and enjoyed by God's Calebs, Joshuahs, and Davids (by men after God's own heart) in the time of the law. Mofes had his meeknefs and tenderness, and was made faithful in all God's houfe by the Spirit of Chrift, this meek lamblike Spirit.
Now when the fhadows came to an end, Chrift the fubflance was to come. The everlafting King, the everlasting high-prieft, the everlasting prophet was to appear. The everlafting rock and holy builder was to appear, and raise up David's tabernacle in Spirit, and miniiter in the true fanctuary, by his light, by his life, by his power, by his righteous Spirit. There is not another tabernacle to be built, not another temple, not another Jerufalem than the heavenly Jerufalem, not another Mount Sion to be known or come to, than the gospel Mount Sion; not another God, than God the judge of all in the gofpel-ftate; not another word or law of life, Q999 2
than the law which goeth forth out of Sion, and the word that iffueth out from this heavenly Jerufalem; not another water to wash the foul with, not another blood to fprinkle the confcience with, not another fpirit to enlighten, quicken, keep alive, and comfort, than the Spirit of light, life, and love from God, which reconciles unto God, and brings into the gofpel-righteoufnefs, reft, and peace, and establisheth the foul therein.
So now, feeling the Spirit of the Son, and being led by him to the Father, and the Father with the Son, by the Holy Spirit, creating me anew, enlightening me, quickening me, raifing me in life, circumcifing my heart to love, I am come to life, and at reft in him that lives in me, and works in me, and gives me to live, and work, and rest in him. For there are the fabbath-day's works, even works of love, works of life, works of rightecufnefs and holiness, works that the Lord works in the fouls in whom he dwells and refts, and which they in the pure reft, peace, and joy of life, work in the Lord their God, who works all their works in them and for them.
Now in this gofpel-difpenfation, or in this difpenfation of the Son in Spirit, all other difpenfations are gathered and wrapped up, and thoroughly experienced by the foul that travels with and is led by Chrift, in this his gofpel-difpenfation.
As firft, There is Mofes in Spirit known and travelled through. There is the miniftration of the law in the Spirit inwardly commanding known, heard, felt, received, before the gofpel-power is given to perform. And here is hard travel and fore exercifes. Here the Father is known commanding, and the foul confents and would fain obey, but finds the law in the members rebelling against the law which the mind hath a sense of, and defires after.
Then afterwards comes the difpenfation of the prophets, wherein there are prophecies of a better ftate to come, openings of the mercy and love which is to be manifefted in the latter days, at the end of thefe trials and exercises, wherein the foul hath promifes from God, that the righteousness fhall be revealed, that power to become a fon fhall be given, and the enemy's ftrength broken, and the bowed down foul raifed up from under his oppreffion, and the Lord fhall tread him under the feet of the poor and needy, and the hungry and thirsty fhall be filled with righteousness, and the meek come to inherit God's earth, and the beggar come from the dunghill, be raised up in the power of life, to fit among princes, even the princes in the heavenly glory of God's everlasting kingdom.
After this fucceeds John's miniftry in Spirit, even the levelling the mountains, the raising up the vallies, the preparing the way for the King of glory, that he may come in and reveal his glory inwardly. For not in the time of the law inwardly, nor in the time of the prophecies inwardly; but after the foul is exercifed and prepared inwardly (that being wafted which hindered, that raifed up which lay low, that made ftraight which lay crooked,
that made plain that was rough, and fo the way is prepared and fitted for the great appearance of the great God and Saviour, in the pure, bright gofpel glory, Spirit, and power), doth the King come fuddenly into his temple; not when the foundation is laid, but when Sion is built up, doth God appear in his glory therein. Read Ifa. xl. 3, 4, 5. and confider. After John's coming in a body of flefh, and preparing the way by his outward ministry, Chrift came in a body of flesh, and was revealed as the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth, by the life, Spirit, and power that that body was filled with. And after John comes in Spirit, and prepares the way in any heart, by the mighty and effectual operation of his miniftry there, then Chrift comes after him in Spirit, in the great power and glory of the Father, and the Father is revealed, and the Son alfo in the Spirit of light, life, love, and righteoufnefs, and the glory of the Lord is beheld with open face, in the glafs of life and righteousness, and the foul is changed into the fame image, and partakes of the heavenly glory, and is married or joined to the Lord, to become one fpirit with him, and hath fellowship with the Father and the Son in the light of life; and this is the gofpel-ftate and glory, and there is not another.
Now take one fcripture more which fums up all difpenfations, and fets up the difpenfation of the Son in Spirit as the laft, as the difpenfation of the last days. It is Heb. i. 1. read but what things are fpoken of to be brought to pafs in the last days of the great gofpel-glory, to be revealed then of the perfect redeeming to God, and centering in him, of being married to him, and becoming one with him, &c. and of the Son's being the minister in the gospel-ftate, by the Spirit and power of the endless life, to bring it all forth, and accomplish it in the husbandry and building of God. Confider the place; at fundry times, and in divers manners, God fpake in times paft by Mofes, by the prophets, by John; but now the last days are come, now the laft difpenfation is come, now the covenant wherein God himself is the teacher, is come, now the time of building the Sion,. the Jerufalem, wherein God himself will dwell for ever, is come; now the light of the city of God is come, which is an eternal light, an unchangeable light. Now the Spirit of love, which brings up the gofpel-life, is come, and edifies the holy gofpel-building, in the gofpel-love and life. Oh! the light, oh! the life, oh! the love, oh! the righteoufnefs, oh! the divine nature, which is now revealed and partook of in the Son! He is the brightness of the Father's glory; and thither he brings his. What would ye have more? He deftroys antichrift inwardly, by the brightness of his coming or appearing. Oh! the defolations that he makes inwardly of fin and iniquity in the hearts of his! He is the exprefs image (or engraving) of his Father's fubftance; and he makes thee, who art one with him in his. Spirit of life and love, of the fame image with him. He tranflateth thee out of Satan's image, into his very image. His light, his life, his love, his righteoufnefs, his divine nature, doth not wax old as a garment, but